10 classic Christmas carols and songs for mandolin, in notation & tablature. Songbook section with lyrics, mandolin & guitar chord diagrams. Shows easy two-finger chords and also closed position chords, has simple beginner tabs, plus "step up" versions with easy double stops. For beginners it's a great introduction to the mandolin, while advanced players will be challenged to master the nuances. CD has melody tracks w/separated mandolin & guitar, play-along tracks, oral instruction on tremolo and technique. A super package for all levels.
10 classic Christmas carols and songs arranged for mandolin, in notation & tablature. Songbook section with full lyrics, mandolin & guitar chord diagrams. Easy two-finger open chords, closed position chords, additional simple versions in tab for beginners, plus several "step up" versions with simple double stops added. Beginners will find this a great introduction to the mandolin and advanced players will be challenged by the subtleties of Roland's playing. CD has melody tracks w/separated mandolin & guitar, rhythm tracks, oral instruction on tremolo and technique. A super package for all levels.
Review by Terence Pender. Reprinted with permission from Dec. 2003 issue of Mandolin Magazine.
This 44-page book contains ten Christmas classics arranged for the mandolin. The book is laid out in two sections. The first section includes an introduction, technical notes, and a few exercises. Next come arrangements of all ten tunes in both standard musical notation and tablature. These arrangements include chord charts for mandolin above the music and the words to each song.
These are excellent renditions of some of the best-loved Christmas songs. The melody on each piece is supported by a nice selection of double stops and chords that both enrich and fill out each selection. The book is obviously ideal for those who want to learn these holiday favorites, but it also contains example after example of how to harmonize a melody - ideas that could be applied to mandolin music of any style. Once you become familiar with Roland's approach to filling out a melody, you'll be able to start creating your own arrangements of any melody. This method of identifying the melody and chords and then harmonizing the material follows the same pattern laid out so well in Roland's first book, Roland White's Approach to Bluegrass Mandolin.
The second part of the book features another pass through each tune, but with an eye toward playing and singing the songs with a guitar-playing friend. On the left hand page are the words with the appropriate mandolin chords, and on the right hand page are the words with guitar chords. At the bottom of the page is a mandolin version of the song, this time in tab only. On the left hand page is a simple version of the melody, and on the opposite page, the version is filled out with a few double stops. In this section, each selection takes this two-page format so that both guitarist and mandolinist can easily play and sing from the same book without having to turn any pages. Likewise, the first section is also laid out so that there are never any awkward page turns, making this an ideal volume for those of you who may be doing some holiday entertaining.
To complement this wonderful folio, each selection is played on an accompanying CD. Each song is played twice. The first time through, Roland plays the main arrangement of the song as it is laid out in part one of the book. Roland is on the mandolin and Diane accompanies on the guitar. Then Roland and Diane play through all of the tunes again, this time playing rhythm so that you can play along with their accompaniment. This is another fine installment in what is shaping up to be a nice series of books from Roland and Diane. They have two more publications planned for release over the next few years: Clarence White's Guitar Transcriptions and Roland White's Approach to Mandolin Backup. This one is highly recommended.
Songs: Jingle Bells in G and C, We Three Kings in Dm and Am, Deck the Halls in E and G,What Child Is This? in Em and Gm, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear in G and D, We Wish You a Merry Christmas in G and D, Silent Night in A and E, Joy to the World in D and G,Silver Bells in A and E, O Little Town Of Bethlehem in D and G
If you've never played a mandolin before, this is a great way to start. The settings have lots of two-finger chords for mandolin, with open strings. You can play through several of these tunes with only two fingers and they'll sound great--the open ringing sound of the mandolin is wonderful for Christmas songs! Also included are some three-finger chords that you should learn, and the neat thing is you don't have to move much to change between most of these chords. Players of all levels will learn a few new chord moves. Nowhere is there a "stretch" chord. The greatest reach in these chords is four frets. You can back up these songs nicely without ever having to stretch your pinky to the far side of the fretboard. Guitar chords, also clearly diagrammed with fingering, are provided for the same songs in the same keys in the same order as the mandolin chord book--so it should be easy to convince a friend to play along with you! Guitar chords are in a separate pdf document.